The Boston Red Sox’s center field battle between Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. likely will continue for a couple days.
Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday that the club likely will make most of its roster cuts before Thursday’s spring training game against the Minnesota Twins. A notable exception, however, is the Red Sox’s center field situation, which Farrell indicated might not officially be resolved until Friday.
The one-day delay in naming a starting center fielder makes sense. Sizemore is expected to complete his third consecutive game Thursday night — marking the first time he has played in three consecutive games this spring — and the Red Sox likely want to see how the 31-year-old physically responds to the workload before arriving at any decision regarding the Opening Day roster.
Sizemore appears to be the front-runner for the Red Sox’s starting center field job, but there’s still an outside chance the club could decide the veteran needs extra at-bats and send him on a rehab assignment. If that ends up being the case, Bradley will be the starting center fielder when the Red Sox kick off their World Series defense Monday against the Baltimore Orioles.
Farrell said Tuesday that the Red Sox don’t have roster space for both Sizemore and Bradley, provided Shane Victorino is ready for Opening Day. That means Victorino and Daniel Nava will be Boston’s backup center fielders in addition to serving in their normal roles.
The Red Sox have 35 players at major league camp, meaning 10 players must be cut before Opening Day.